A Perfect Match

Recently, my family got some exciting news! My dad proposed to his long-time girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. Since this will be both of their second marriages, they aren’t very practical in the wedding planning process. My family has had 3 weddings in 14 months, so I think we all have this type of party down to a science!

In order to celebrate, I wanted to give them a small, yet personal engagement gift. My dad burns candles every evening, so it is a tradition to give him candles at any holiday. I knew that I wanted to go with that theme, so I bought a jar and filled it with matches. Then, I glued a strike pad to the bottom so that the matches could be out on display and not hidden in a drawer. Finally, I used my trusty Silhouette (how did I ever live without this thing?!) to cut vinyl to personalize the jar with their special date, names, and “The Perfect Match”. If you don’t have a die cut machine, you could always use chalkboard paint or paint pens.

I gave this gift to my dad recently, and he was very touched! If you are looking for a simple, but special engagement gift- I recommend this fun project!

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2015/2016- The Year of Dates

When I came across the 12 months of dates on Pinterest, I knew this would make the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day! My husband and I have gotten into a bit of a rut when it comes to date night, so I was eager to come up with some new adventures. This project did take a few weeks to complete, but the end result was so worth it!

My first step was to brainstorm date nights that were creative, and also inexpensive. Once I had 12 dates picked out, I went to websites and Groupon to purchase vouchers and gift cards. My goal was to stay under $50 for each date night, which could be tricky!

I wanted a compact way to store these gifts, and a scrapbook seemed like the perfect solution. Additionally, it would prompt us to take pictures during date night. I swear in our 4 years together, we have less than a handful of pictures together that aren’t from our wedding!

I wrote a little note explaining the idea to my husband. My hope is that we can open the envelope together on the first of the month and then determine which day will work best for our date. I am eager to begin our monthly date nights, and I think this will bring my us closer together!

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Making My Own Luck

I have been staring at the space above our kitchen window since we moved into our house. I was dying for a vintage sign to fill the space. I eyed a few Pottery Barn signs, but they were so expensive ($100) and didn’t hold any special meaning for me. I am at my happiest crafting, so I was determined to create something unique for our home.

We both have sentimental attachment to the word “Lucky”, so I wanted to be sure to incorporate that into my design. Also, I owned a horse growing up, and I had one leftover horseshoe from him sitting in the garage waiting to be used for something crafty! I had seen a sign using a horseshoe as the letter “U”, so I was inspired!

Fortunately, we already had white wood in the garage leftover from another project. I measured and it was the right size for above the window- don’t you love when things like that work out? I designed the sign using my Silhouette software, making sure that the letters matched the size of the horseshoe and coordinated with the vintage style. I cut my letters out of vinyl so that I could paint over them and peel them off later.

I laid out my sign and transferred the vinyl, making sure that I left space for the horseshoe. Once I had my letters stuck, I used a light green paint to paint over everything. I needed to paint the sides too, as this sign would be hanging up high and people would be able to see the sides.

Once the paint was dry, I peeled off the vinyl letters. This was my first sign project, and I was impressed with how crisp the letters turned out! Finally, I nailed the horseshoe in place and stepped back to admire my work. Initially, I was totally content with the result. However, after coming back to it after a day, it felt too “clean”.

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I had a bit of gel wood stain on hand, so I went over the paint with the gel and deepened the colors in some areas. The sign definitely had more of a vintage feel after that finishing touch!

My hubby helped me put 2 sawtooth hangers on the back and hang it up above the window. He was very impressed when I told him the cost of this project was just pennies. I love adding personal touches to our home, and this sign makes me smile every time I walk into our kitchen!

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Happy Halloween!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I absolutely adore fall and decorating for the season!

I am a big fan of collecting items for each and every holiday, but I like to accomplish a beautiful vignette on a budget. I often hunt through the Dollar Tree to find something that I could transform into something that I would be proud to display on my mantel. Michaels is also a favorite stop- the coupons combined with sale items makes for a bargain hunter’s dream. Finally, The Graphics Fairy is one of my favorite websites for beautiful vintage graphics that I can frame for a touch of whimsy anywhere in the house!

Below are pictures of a few of my most recent projects:

This is my take on The Headless Horseman. This horse is one of my favorite pieces in our home, so it’s fun to add a little bit of spookiness in an unexpected way.

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This little skeleton was a terrible white plastic before. I used a bit of silver acrylic paint to cover it, and then placed it under a square cloche. Perfectly spooky!

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I found this little crow at the Dollar Tree as well. I spray painted terra cotta pots with chalkboard paint and then filled them with a bit of foam. I covered the foam with Spanish moss, and then stuck the crow in. Finally, I added a few Halloween phrases to break up all that black.

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This project was one of my favorites. I found a skeleton garland at the Dollar Tree and cut it apart. The hands all went into bud vases, and the heads in another. Creepy in a small way!

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The Leaves are Falling…

Growing up on the East Coast, fall has always been my favorite season. I love the crisp chilly air, the beautiful colors on the trees, and the great fashion!

It makes my heart sing to know that we will be in our home for years to come, so I am eager to perfect my seasonal decor. In fact, my perfect weekend afternoon involves crafting a new project with my puppies and a glass of wine by my side. Of course, my husband serves as the ever patient sounding board. He knows what’s coming when I yell down the hallway, “Hey, can I borrow you for a second…”

Below are pictures of what I was able to create for fall in our home:

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An Apple A Day…

The first week of school has come and gone, and I have been keeping long hours. This past weekend, I needed to destress and zone out. When I need to relax, I love to turn on some trashy reality TV (Real Housewives is my fav!) and knit up a new project. Since I seem to be in the school mode recently, I knit this cute little apple. I think it will be the perfect accent to my classroom, and integrate my career and hobby!

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